Sneak Preview of Overdue Apologies

When #teenagememories trends on twitter, it's the twitterverse asking for a preview of Overdue Apologies, the middle school memoir that is my daily grind these days. Remember that middle school dance? The crush you had as a seventh grader on the cutest eighth grader? Yeah, this might take you back.

Getting Ready

            Daylight savings time ends so the sun is up when Robin, Bianca and I walk to school. Spring is close and as soon as the afternoon highs reach into the 50s we wear shorts to school and tank tops that reveal pale skin hidden all winter long behind knit sweaters and jeans.
            The Friday of the spring dance Kim and Jamie come over to get ready. We watch one another closely and check out what we've chosen to wear: surf company t-shirts, shorts and sandals. We thread together leis from the crabapple tree blossoms in the front yard. We brush our hair, curl, and spray. We apply deodorant, lotion and perfume and by the time we're ready to go we are three variations on the same look and smell: shoulder length hair, curled and sprayed, pink lip gloss, shorts, t-shirts, sandals and flower leis = perfect for Spring Dance.
Pilot Butte, Bend, Oregon.
            Mom drops us off at school and we can't wait to dance to Prince's "U Got the Look" or Billy Idol's "Mony Mony." Our leis fall to pieces, white petals drifting to the floor, but we don't care. The eighth graders dance in their circle and we dance with the other seventh graders, but I keep an eye on Shawn. He and Caren finally broke up and maybe if I'm around on a slow song he'll ask me to dance. But when they play "Take My Breath Away" Shawn leaves so I head to the bathroom, hoping we might bump into one another. Yes. I time it perfectly and we almost collide at the door.
            "Cool sunglasses," I say as I pull them from his face. "Oooh. Varnets. Can I borrow?"
            "Uh," before he can answer I walk off with his glasses and I wear them for the rest of the night.
            It's almost 9:00 and the dance is almost over. U2's "With or Without You" comes on and Shawn comes up to me.
            Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
            He looks uncomfortable and won't look me in the eye.
            "Uh, hey Nori," he says, turning to look over his shoulder.
            I can't believe he's right there, standing right there in front of me. He reaches out a hand and I smile and look down at my feet.
            "Can I get my sunglasses back?"

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